The New Normal - 3 Examples of Hybrid Events Done Right.

The New Normal - 3 Examples of Hybrid Events Done Right.

Posted on 10 March 2022

Tags: Future-proof

It’s commonplace for most conferences to have some sort of digital broadcast or recap component for delegates. But this year we have seen more hybrid events than ever before where attendees can attend in person or online and have an increasingly similar experience. This flexibility is becoming the norm and allows attendees the freedom to choose how they want to experience events with less compromise than ever before.

To rise to these new challenges event planners and venues need to liaise with stakeholders, speakers and sponsors to understand exactly what they want from an event and the experience they need attendees to have both online and in person. This discovery phase, although always crucial, is especially important with a hybrid event as many involved may have not taken this approach before and expectations need to be carefully managed.

When deciding on a venue additional considerations such as time zones of virtual attendees, internet bandwidth, pandemic plans for the in-person component and more need to be considered, most larger conferences venues generally now cater for advanced internet requirements however this will need to be arranged and specified with AV in advanced, don't just expect to show up and plug in.

The pinnacle of hybrid conferences at the moment are being hosted by organisations who already have a massive online presence such as Twitch, with expertise in streaming, these events are tech-heavy and have incredible results but out of reach for most corporate conferences. There are many corporate conferences finding great success with simple yet effective hybrid events, these include:

 

Understood the assignment:

FinCon 2021

The annual personal finance influencer conference was able to go ahead in May 2021 with a hybrid model, what they did right:

  • A Tiered pricing structure that encouraged greater attendance; Enabling both virtual and in-person attendees with virtual tickets prices around 20% lower incing participation from those that may not have previously the opportunity to attend, creating many first time attendees.
  • Leveraged the event as premium online content; Those who missed the event or that simply want to revisit certain talks can now purchase and move through each virtual session in a course like structure allowing ongoing engement and value even after the event.




Something different:

Data Science Conference (DSC) US Healthtech 2021

This event has a broad global appeal and was able to offer attendees from all regions virtual attendance as a point of difference.

  • A free virtual “Open Day” to promote future events; Attendees could choose a virtual or in-person ticket but were also given the option of an “Open Day Ticket” a free opportunity to explore the show floor for 1 day and tune into select live streams, this allowed the event to promote its value for next year to students or those that may not be able or willing to pay full entry yet.
  • Virtual facetime with speakers; The “Meet the Speakers” option allowed both in person and online attendees to interact in a more meaningful way with speakers, this structured introductory time is crucial for events wanting to offer virtual attendees a more intimate experience.

 

The standout - 1 event, 3 countries + virtual at the same time:

Leadership From Chaos 2021

An absolute standout event that came just as Europe was experiencing its initial 2021 re-opening in early October 2021, this event highlighted just how unique a hybrid event can be utilising a "Pod" style structure. Leadership From Chaos was a super event formed by the amalgamation of three revenue management events deciding they were stronger together and more able to create a meaningful experience for their audiences. 

Attendees were given the chance to attend live sessions running concurrently in London, Rimi and Stockholm at separate venues dubbed “Pods”, sessions from the alternate venue were streamed into the in person audience of the other, allowing a brand new in person hybrid structure while avoiding unnecessary international travel. 

The event was also streamed live for fully virtual attendees and virtual tickets sold at a lower cost to increase participation and value for sponsors looking to reach the largest audience. Key presentations are also available post events online for all attendees to review.

Speakers were even given the opportunity to present virtually from anywhere, allowing iVvy CEO Lauren Hall to present from Australia and the content to be used across multiple platforms and venues.

Maria Macree, iVvy’s Head of Sales for the UK region was delighted to participate in a speaker session regarding total profit revenue management highlighting the value of the MICE industry and the profitability of meeting spaces VS the traditional model of the rooms division amongst hoteliers. This insightful session really looked at how hoteliers have adapted to different methods of working smarter and monetising where it makes sense to, in light of pandemic restrictions.

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